ANTIBACTERIAL AND COAGULANT PROPERTIES OF LOCALLY GROWN MORINGA SEEDS IN SWAZILAND
Moringa oleifera is a tree that has many valuable properties including medicinal and nutritive properties. Different parts of the plant have been found to possess important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The current study investigated the coagulant and antimicrobial properties of moringa seeds on raw water. The seeds were collected from the highveld, middleveld, and lowveld areas of Swaziland. The coagulant and antimicrobial properties were determined by adding either an aqueous solution of moringa seed powder or the powder directly into raw water. The water was taken from Lobamba river and Mbekelweni dam. It was observed that using an aqueous solution containing 200mg/L moringa seed powder was not effective in treating the water. Both turbidity and Escherichia coli counts remained high after 22h of contact. After adding the moringa powder directly into the raw water, the turbidity was significantly reduced after 7h contact at a concentration of 0.2g/L moringa powder. The turbidity was reduced to less than 5NTU, the recommended WHO limit for safe drinking water. Higher amounts of moringa seed resulted in increased turbidity, which did not settle even after 7h contact time. E. coli counts remained high in the treated water (>200 MPN/100mL) at all concentrations of moringa seed powder used even after 22h contact time. Safe drinking water should not have viable E. coli. Microbial counts (MPN/100mL) between 100 and 1000 are considered high risk in drinking water. It can be concluded that moringa seed has some coagulant properties which may be suitable for treating raw water. However, the seeds did not exhibit antimicrobial properties. The treated water was not suitable for drinking because of the high microbial load.